Life’s Lessons and God’s Will –
Pretend you live in a large family. Your parents keep telling you to put your shoes over to the side when you take them off. Sometimes you remember, and sometimes you forget. Sometimes your brothers and sisters remember. Sometimes they forget. One day you walk into the house, trip over shoes that have been left in the middle of the floor, and you fall and break your ankle. Now you are home in a cast with crutches during summer vacation while all your friends are having a good time going out and going to the beach.
Pretend a well meaning neighbor stops by and says ‘well, God must have sent this to you for a reason. We all have lessons to learn. Praise God, His will be done’. The neighbor leaves and you are mad at God, sorry for yourself, angry at whoever left the shoes and just plain miserable.
Then let’s pretend God stops by for a visit. He says, ‘My child. I did not send you this problem. I gave this world the gift of free will, and life’s circumstances created this problem. I prompted your parents to try to teach you responsibility but you are human. Sometimes you remember, and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you trip over your own shoes, and sometimes over your brother’s.’
‘What I can see,’ says God, ‘is that you have anger, resentment, and sadness within you or they would not have come to the surface during this incident. I can help you relieve yourself of those things right now, if you are willing to put your life in my hands for a little while.’
So what have you got to lose? You try to put your life in God’s hands. You try forgiveness instead of anger and resentment. You try gratitude for your parents and the doctors that are taking care of you. You learn acceptance that this is an imperfect world. You do pretty well, and God prompts someone to give you the gift of a set of paints. You are bored so you try your hand at painting. You discover you are good at it and you really like it. Eventually your foot heals and in the fall you go back to school.
When you are well again, you run into the neighbor from before. You are more relaxed, more forgiving, more accepting, more accountable and you have a new skill that brings you much joy. The neighbor says, ‘See – I told you that God let you trip because He wanted to teach you a lesson.’ Life’s lessons and God’s will. You decide what that means.